Thailand to receive first T-50 jet trainers

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Deliveries of the first Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50 Golden Eagle lead-in fighter trainers to Thailand began on 8 January, South Korean media reported.

Two of the first batch of four T-50TH (Thailand) aircraft have left Seoul for Bangkok as the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) begins the process of replacing its current fleet of Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainers.

Thailand is currently signed up for 12 T-50TH aircraft across two batches of four and eight respectively. Jane’s was told on 17 October 2017 that KAI hoped to begin talks shortly for the four fighters that are outstanding from Thailand’s original requirement of 16, though no word has yet been given as to whether this has yet happened and KAI had not responded to a request for information by the time of publication. It is possible that as many as 18 T-50THs could eventually be procured.

The commencement of deliveries to Thailand comes some months after it was announced in late September 2017 that the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) is to receive an undisclosed additional number of TA-50-variant aircraft from 2019 to add to the more than 70 it already fields.

Further to Thailand and South Korea, all of the Philippines 12 FA-50-variant aircraft have been delivered, and that six of the 24 FA-50s ordered by Iraq have now been handed over to that country. Indonesia has received all of its 16 T-50 aircraft.